92% of parents in the UAE say that ‘play’ is a key component in helping children learn new things

Inspiring future generations through the power of play – LEGO® Middle East held a first-of-its-kind event unveiling groundbreaking insights from their exclusive LEGO® Play Well 2022 study

Striving to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through play, LEGO® Middle East held an exclusive event in Dubai to unveil, key global and regional findings from their 2022 Play Well Study. The event gathered key regional thought leaders, influencers and the Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), a subsidiary of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA); to initiate impactful conversations around the power of play and the attitudes and behaviours related to it.

The one-of-a-kind LEGO® Play Well 2022 study, a global study on play by the LEGO Group, building on the 2018 and 2020 LEGO Play Well research findings, which presents parent and child perceptions on the benefits of family play, children’s play preferences, future-oriented skills and learning through play. All findings from the report, unless otherwise referenced, were gathered from a total of 32,781 parents, and 24,593 children aged 5 -12 through a 20 minute online quantitative survey conducted across 35 markets in early 2022. It brings out the essence of what play means to children and parents across the globe. In its third edition, the study delves into how play has evolved, the benefits it brings to individuals and families, the barriers that get in the way and how we can protect it.  The study contained ground-breaking data and findings from parents and children of the UAE, with a large percentage of the nation’s parents agreeing that play must be prioritized and protected as it is an integral tool in a child’s development

In support of shedding light on the various sections of the report, the event hosted a panel of experts including; Jeroen Beijer, the General Manager of LEGO Middle East and South Africa; Aalia Thobani, Communication and Connection Specialist; and Dr Hessa Al Suwaidi, Executive Director at UAE Sharjah Child Friendly Office. Each expert contributed their valuable views around the findings of the unique study Commissioned by the LEGO Group which contains valuable insights setting a precedent to inspire the generation of tomorrow and laying creative foundations for families to bond and build together.

The study reveals that 92% of parents in the UAE believe play is key in enabling children to learn new things. LEGO products help with children’s development and recognize how experimenting and making mistakes help with a child’s development. 96% of parents in the UAE say that playing together makes their family happier.

Dr Hessa Al Suwaidi, Executive Director at UAE Sharjah Child Friendly Office said: “In line with Sharjah’s vision of developing comprehensive, child-centric ecosystems, SCFO has been prioritising the unique needs of children through the lens of a child-rights-based framework. Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of Supreme Council for Family Affairs, our targeted strategies are grounded in the best interests and rights of children and youth in Sharjah.” She added: “Play has the power to support physical and psychological wellbeing and forge strong connections with others. It imbues children with essential life skills including self-confidence and resilience, independence and the ability to cope with challenging situations. At SCFO, we recognise and respect the right of children to play, and are committed to upholding their rights in accordance with the highest international standards and guidelines.”

The nation’s generation of tomorrow, the children of the UAE, also confirmed their affinity towards LEGO® play, as it offers them a fun way to hone ways of thinking, creating and testing new ideas.

96% of children expressed that playing with LEGO bricks is a fun activity to do with their parents, and that play makes them feel creative.

Jeroen Beijer, General Manager of LEGO Middle East and South Africa said: Play has always been the cornerstone of humanity, in that it contributes to all facets of life. We see play as a process that entails discovery, exploration, learning from mistakes and much more. It means play opportunities for every child’s passion. It means creating lifelong learning values. Most importantly to the UAE, it means bringing families together and shaping the builders of the future.”

With exceptional insights backed by the Play Well study, parents, educators and even key decision-makers in the UAE can begin to encourage conversations around this topic and inspire the movement towards play in everyday life. The Play Well study also conveys impactful insights on themes that revolve around parents and children’s perceptions of the benefits of family play, as well as digital child safety, sustainability and diversity equity and inclusion (DEI).

The valuable local insights from the LEGO Play Well Study provide key pillars of interest across various sectors that will help support youth by igniting the flame of the power of play and equipping families with the tools, time and space needed to prioritize and protect play.      

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